Children are wonderful. There’s an entirely new world to explore, yet they move so fast doing so: they can show interest in book within their first year, and display feelings of comfort and enjoyment from being read to at just nine months. It is important to note, however, that not all children have equal opportunities.
Why tactile books are important
Whether they are faced with physical barriers such as physical disabilities, or economical barriers, such as children in countries without free education. In 2010, the Guardian reported that 70 million children don’t receive an education. But there are things we can do to adapt our learning tools to suit everyone.
Adapting and creating specifically designed books in a tactile fashion broadens the use of books as a learning tool, to children with even the most severe visual impairments. Often, children with visual impairments face more isolation than other children, which is exactly why it’s necessary to increase the resources available to them.
What to consider when creating tactile books
When incorporating literacy into a child’s education, there must be elements of experiences in the real world. This gives a child an enriched experience alongside the experiences they have simply growing up: taking children out to have a variety of experience is crucial. The saying it takes a village to raise a child is very true in this sense.
“A good example for inspiration here is by Bill Martin and John Archambault, called Here Are My Hands. This book is written in Braille, which is the reading language children who are blind, or face severe visual impairments, learn. Another is by La Coccinella Editrice, called One Green Frog. This book is a board book – Braille was incorporated using Braillables. Finally, Eric Hill’s Spot’s Toys uses toys and objects to create a full tactile experience,” says Rene Butler, educator at Academized and OXEssays.
When to start using tactile books
Starting earlier is better. The sooner children are exposed to information, the sooner they learn and begin to incorporate it into their minds and expression. For this reason, incorporate books written in Braille from as early as they show an interest in literacy. You can add Braille to almost any printed book.
Be aware of adhesive Braille products such as the American Printing House Blind’s Braillables. Alternatively, take the book apart and laminate each page. Laminated pages can have Braille applied to them. For books printed on cardboard, use uncontracted or Grade 1 Braille.
Other tactile features
Features such as fur, wood and plastic can create the tactile experiences of many different objects. For children with severe visual impairments, this can be likened to reading an illustrated book.
“Use simpler tactile references for younger children, and avoid less understandable materials such as rice,” says Kathie Turner, tutor at Student Writing Services.
Tactile books can be created from scratch
This is an adventure to children! It is all about documenting memories, and teaches children that they can create something out of all their experiences. To create an experience book, an adult takes the child out. Anything is possible: going to the beach, the park, the shopping mall, you could even find a cave! Whatever the experience is, the idea is to create a book out of it.
At the end of the day the adult and child work together to create a lasting experience book. They must communicate well, which helps bridge language and motor skills in the child.
Additionally, to enhance this experience, use real objects. Allowing the child to collect objects from the world gives them a sense of purpose. Subsequently using these objects to create a book that they can always read when they want gives them a sense of responsibility in creating something beautiful.
Aimee Lawrence is an online editor for health blogs at Best assignment writing services in Adelaide and Assignment Services. She creates guidance articles for mindfulness and also helps guide others through difficult times as a part-time youth counsellor. Additionally, Aimee tutors at Essay Services.